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Books needed for JLPT N3


23 Dec 2012
Good day,

I am new here, so have mercy, please. :D

Basically, I want to take the JLPT as soon as possible, maybe next year December. I am aiming for the N3 level.

So, I am kindly asking what books do you think I would need to go directly to N3, starting from 0. Thus, going through N5 and N4 and getting to N3.

I have read that I should get the Genki I and II (lesson book, workbook, answer key, audio). And `A guide to remembering Japanese Characters` for the Kanji. Do you think that is enough to get me from 0 to N3?

Or do I need the Kanzen Master book as well? Or can I get some kind of book that has several volumes that go up to that level?

I am so sorry if my writing isn't clear. Maybe my English is a little bad. The problem is that I do not know if the N3 books start from 0 or do they start from N4. For ex, if I buy the Kanzem one, will I be able to understand it without reading anything on N5 and N4 levels?

Thank you! You help is appreciated!
Generally, N3 books assume you've made it to level N4. It's entirely possible to skip a level if you're a hard worker. I started on those kinds of texts when it was levels 1-4, no N. I got the 4 (now equivalent N5) and then started in with 2 (now N2). Two years later, I failed 2 by a sliver of points (58%, pass: 60%), but the next year I flew threw N3, since I'd been studying above my level.

I studied lots of 読解/reading comprehension. That built up the vocabulary and grammar enough for the other sections, and I lived in Japan, so the listening wasn't so hard.

As long as you're thorough, I think you can skip a ways up to N3. But it'll take time. You may want to take N4 in the meantime though.

Good luck!
Thank you for your opinion! So do you think that if I work with those books (Genki I, II) it is enough to get to N3? Or do I need something else as well?
I never studied Genki, so I can't say, but I recommend getting one of the sample test books which have old tests in them. Then you can see how close/far you are from it. I would also recommend getting an N3 読解 book, and ploughing into it.

I haven't studied in a long time, since I'm speaking Japanese at home, and much of the time in the workplace. The need isn't there anymore. But, for about four years, I made new textbooks simply part of life. Buy them and sample them!

I think a crucial point for study, past the N5 level, is to get textbooks that are 100% Japanese. The N series books should mostly be that way.

I never studied for N3 specifically, so you should wait to see what others say in this topic too.
I honestly can't tell you which book is the best for N3, since I tried some like Mimi kara oboeru or Sou matoume but they are way off the track. I took the test this December and it was very unpredictable. I've never study Genki but you might try Minna no Nihongo set which IMO is a good choice. I'm studying a dictionary of basic/intermediate grammar now and I think it is pretty good too. Basically I think you should pick a 100% Japanese book and steadily build up your vocabulary. However if you want to success from zero to N3 you difinitely need to study HARD.
Thank you for your opinion! So do you think that if I work with those books (Genki I, II) it is enough to get to N3? Or do I need something else as well?

No, Genki 1 + 2 is only sufficient for N4 ... You need something else for N3 ... As I know, there is a 3rd book which should be okay for N3 ... I don't know the exactly name, but it was something like "integrated course to intermediate japanese" or something ...
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